Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Never a Trial to Do a la Plante Role

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Never a Trial to Do a la Plante Role

Article excerpt

A drab West London car park is not the kind of location you'd expect from one of ITV's most popular dramas.

But it's here we find Victoria Smurfit as she films the latest instalment of Lynda La Plante's Trial & Retribution.

It's a simpler tale than previous ones. In The Lovers, a newlywed inexplicably goes missing while shopping with his wife in London's busy Covent Garden.

Victoria, 31, has been working on the Trial & Retribution series since 2003, when she joined as DCI Roisin Connor, the hard-nosed, no-nonsense detective who puts her job above everything else. It's immediately obvious this is a role Victoria loves, despite, or perhaps because, it's a world away from her own personality.

"Love it, love it," she says of the role. "How often do you get to play a strong female who's deeply flawed, who's not there just as someone's wife or girlfriend or mother?

"Also, Lynda doesn't write women in an ideological way; she doesn't write them on a pedestal. She writes them human and aggressive and cynical and flawed and complicated, and it's very rare you see that."

Trial & Retribution isn't Victoria's only baby any more. In November of last year she gave birth to her first child ( a daughter, Evie. Victoria enjoyed a good seven months of being a stay-at-home mum before returning to work on Trial & Retribution.

"It was the perfect amount of time, actually," says Victoria. "The first three months are so overwhelming, you don't really know which way is up. And then I had three months of having great fun with her.

"Now it's fun because I come home at night and she squawks at me, as in, `Make me laugh, Mum'. So we spend a few hours giggling."

Evie's father is Douglas Baxter, a businessman Victoria met when Douglas, now the owner of a successful internet company, was an executive of the Irish Post, based in London. …

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